I am grateful for this particularly sensitive review from Catherine Robertson, a New Zealand bestselling author whose wit and insight I've always admired. Have a listen here.
I haven't been updating my website lately, and after much procrastinating, I've found that I won't have enough time to dedicate a blog post to every life update I have (I shouldn't be complaining but it can be overwhelming at times, haha). And so without further ado, here is what has happened in my writing life since my last post:
1) Book chapter about Gina Apostol's Gun Dealers' Daughter in the anthology, Closer to Liberation: Pin[a/x]y Activism in Theory and Practice (Cognella, 2023)
I am thrilled to have my article, "The Nation as Fragmented Self in Gina Apostol's Gun Dealers' Daughter" appear in this landmark volume on Filipina/x feminism and activism edited by Amanda Solomon Amorao, DJ Kuttin Kandi, and Jen Soriano. This article is a shortened version of a chapter from the critical component of my PhD thesis. I highly recommend the use of this textbook in Filipino-American, Asian-American, and Women's Studies programs. You may purchase this book here.
2) Review of David E. Yee's Mongolian Horse (Black Lawrence, 2022) in Colorado Review
I purchased David E. Yee's Mongolian Horse on a whim when Black Lawrence Press titles went on sale, and was immediately blown away by Yee's technique and mastery of the short story form. This is a masterful debut that examines Asian-American masculinity and male grief, and I had so much fun writing a review of this book. You can read that here.
3) Guested on Jesil Cajes's Culture Connection radio program in Wellington, New Zealand
I am deeply grateful to Jesil Cajes of Culture Connection for inviting me to talk about my debut story collection, Love & Other Rituals, on her radio program featuring the richness of Wellington's immigrant communities. Being enthusiastically called "the first Kiwi-Filipino fiction writer" on a live radio program took some getting used to, but who knows, maybe we are making history, one story at a time.
4) Virtual Author Talk with Catherine Robertson, hosted by GOOD BOOKS Wellington
I finally have a New Zealand launch for my book, thanks to the generosity of GOOD BOOKS Wellington and my author friend Catherine Robertson, who will be hosting the event. This is a free event and you can watch it from anywhere in the world, but you will have to register on Eventbrite first. This will be on St. Patrick's Day, so come raise a pint for my book! My Kiwi friends can also purchase their copies of my book from GOOD BOOKS, a local independent bookstore that supports small press authors like me.
When Will Woolfitt of the literary blog Speaking of Marvels approached me for an interview about Love and Other Rituals, I said, why the hell not? It's a huge honor to share this space with the likes of Mandy-Suzanne Wong, Jen Soriano, and Laura Villareal, and to talk more about my book, my process, and my journey as a writer. Read the full interview here.
I'd like to express my gratitude to the Wellington City Libraries in New Zealand, especially to Neil Johnstone, for preparing this lovely video interview featuring my book. I answered questions about being a Filipino writer who has lived in and written from different countries, my creative process, and how I envision the audience of my work. You can watch the video and read their accompanying blog post here and borrow my book from the Wellington City Library collection, or else order it from Unity Books in Wellington.
I'm delighted to share my latest for Electric Literature, an essay about how I connected with the movie Ghost World as a teenager in the Philippines, and how I saw myself and one of my high school best friends in its lead characters, Enid and Rebecca, played by Thora Birch and Scarlett Johannson. I wanted to write about how female friendships are important for young women of color seeking to forge a path of their own as artists, especially in a place like the Philippines that doesn't exactly serve as an encouraging environment for rebellion and creativity. Read the full essay here.
I am overjoyed to begin 2023 with an interview by the lovely Grace Talusan for The Rumpus about my debut story collection, Love and Other Rituals. We talked about how I depicted the Philippines I know, and not what white supremacy imagines it to be; communicating across cultural differences without compromising one's vision; and utilizing fiction to convey truth in a time of misinformation and historical revisionism in my home country. I cannot thank Grace Talusan enough for generously conducting this conversation, as well as Marisa Siegel and Elizabeth Gonzalez James for facilitating its publication in The Rumpus. Read our conversation here.
In case you're an artists' residency addict like me, or else have been meaning to apply for an artists' residency, I made this list for Electric Literature!
I am beyond honored to have been invited by Jaime Alejandro to appear on his amazing podcast about creatives and the creative process, Arts Calling! In this episode, we talked about my debut story collection, Love and Other Rituals, and my journey towards finding my voice and sense of home across several continents. Jaime is an amazing interviewer and I highly recommend his podcast, Arts Calling, which has a particular interest in featuring artists of color. You can listen to my episode here.
What an honor to see Love and Other Rituals being featured in Alfred A. Yuson's Kripotkin column, which appears every Monday in The Philippine Star's lifestyle section. This appeared in their November 21, 2022 print edition, and those living outside the Philippines can read Sir Krip's stunning review here.